Thursday, 26 February 2015

Lunch at Home

Check out the show Eden and I saw at lunch today!


Right after Christmas this past year, we took a vacation to Florida.  We stayed at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel, went swimming, did a little hiking, and went to Sea World.  Pretty much every week since we've gotten home Eden has said, "We should go back to Florida and Sea World!"

Z loved the bamboo growing all around the grounds of the hotel.

The hotel is at the source of Shingle Creek, which waters the Everglades.

There were beautiful birds everywhere.

Trying on glasses in the gift store.

Get on the sun screen -- it's warm out there!

Eden really did have fun, even though it doesn't look like it in this picture!

At Sea World you could just reach in and pet the stingrays.  Cool!

Same thing with the dolphins, but only Nathan managed to do it.

Watching the dolphins underwater.

The dolphin show was Eden's favorite.  It was pretty amazing.

Z absolutely insisted on sitting in the Soak Zone.

The dolphin show.

This is the Orca show where we really did get soaked!  Z and Nathan are doing the move that tells the Orcas to splash the crowd with their tails.  Those tails can really send the water flying!  Eden was not as happy about this show.

Z loved it!

All of us soaked by the Orcas!

And Z posing with one afterwards.

Eden and I went on a little train ride.

And Z had fun at the bubble machine.

Z was the only one of us willing to go on this vomit-inducing ride.  I'm not sure he enjoyed it much, but he did keep his lunch down.

Eden had a penny pressed with the picture of a mannitee.  Here she's showing it off beside the real mannitees.

Fun times!

Just as we were leaving the park, we walked past a man and woman carrying a huge, blue stuffed penguin.  Eden said, "Wow, look at the penguin!"  And I said, "Yeah, that's a big one!"  We went to put the stroller away and just as we were leaving the man came running up and said to Eden, "Would you like the penguin?"  She was too stunned to say anything, but once she realized he was really giving it to her, she was absolutely thrilled!  I imagine he won the penguin at one of the games and was just as happy to get rid of it!  He certainly made Eden's day!

Eden with her penguin on the bus back to the hotel.

After Eden was given the penguin, Z felt a little sorry for himself.  A very kind young women observed this and gave him this necklace, which made his day!  People can be so nice.

The penguin was the center of a wrestling match that night.  He took a bit of a beating.

And then acted as pillow for TV time.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

From the Past

I found this picture today and it just  makes me laugh.  It's from the fall of 2006.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

The Living River

[Nathan writing]

The river changes every day.  Even in winter.  One would think that -5 degree weather would freeze the Big Sioux into stasis, but this is not nearly the case.  Aside from the snow and leaves blowing across the icy surface, the water beneath continues to flow, sometimes leaving depressions, sometimes lifting slabs of ice upwards, sometimes cracking the thick upper layer, sometimes bursting through.  This place lives.

Two nights ago was especially creepy.  Finger-like clouds from the north sneaked up on the starry sky and were illuminated by light from the city.  Phin and I walked down our property alongside the river.  The air temperature hovered around zero, made sharper by the wind.  Every few seconds the river snapped and cracked.  I got to thinking how Native American groups like the Oneota (who used to populate this exact area) conceived of all things as alive.  Suddenly the river made a loud groan, something almost human yet preternatural, similar to the noises one hears on those movies where a metal ship is buckling and sinking.  For a moment I became an animist.

Then I looked back and saw our curious octagonal house glowing amid the river basin.  Perhaps better to get warm and discover a new river in the morning.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Apple Orchard

Last October we made our annual trip to the apple orchard.  It is full of charms for us.  It's like the tree Diggory plants in his back yard that blows with the breezes of Narnia.

We had a wonderful day, and here are the pictures to prove it!